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WHITLEY

★★★★

DARK AND BEAUTIFUL STORYTELLING ON NEW ALBUM

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By Charlie David Page
2nd July 2013
Whitley has been underground for some time now. Lawrence Greenwood, the man behind the moniker, decided to embark on an overseas hiatus for some time away from his musical identity. Three years later, he's back with a new album, the aptly titled 'Even The Stars Are A Mess'.

This album is a triumph of cohesiveness - the tracks flow effortlessly from start to end, with gently plucked guitars common threads throughout.

Greenwood's songwriting clings to a melancholy mood; these songs are beautiful and melodic with an infinite sense of longing - sometimes the storytelling sits at a global level, at other times it's much more intimate. It's clear to see why he chose the title 'Even The Stars Are A Mess': the expression is a larger reflection of the anguish captured on this album.

The first three tracks contain the aforementioned guitar picking, building tension through the first ten minutes, starting with the opening tune, 'The Ballad of Terence McKenna'. 'TV' marches on with clapping and bass thumps, the song's verses almost a war chant, falling away for the clarity of the chorus, with nothing but an organ and Greenwood's voice. The album's first single, 'My Heart Is Not A Machine', delivers a soft but steady drum beat inspired by its title, sending forth the tale of an impossible love.

WHITLEY - MY HEART IS NOT A MACHINE

As the album continues, its songs become more mellow, almost dream-like. Tracks 'Final Words' and 'Roadside' are quite etherial - borderline religious - and further emphasise the sense of loneliness and disparity throughout the album.

Clocking in at only 33 minutes, you're likely to find yourself reaching the end of this album far too soon. 'Even The Stars Are A Mess' revels in mournfulness, and yet still offers a glimmer of hope in the black night. This is subdued indie rock at its best.

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FAST FACTS
ARTIST: Whitley
AKA: Lawrence Greenwood
FROM: Melbourne
SOUND: Folk Pop
FACEBOOK: whitleysounds
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